Business Insurance: House bill aims to address workplace violence in health care
A bill that would compel the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue a standard requiring health care and social service employers to write and implement workplace violence prevention plans was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday.
Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., introduced H.R. 7141 — the Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care and Social Services Act — in response to increasing rates of workplace violence against health care professionals, according to a statement issued on Friday.
“We expect health care and social service employees to care for us in our times of need, but we know that each year, these men and women are faced with rising rates of violence, often from patients and their families,” Rep. Courtney said in a statement. “This legislation compels OSHA to do what employees, safety experts and members of Congress have been calling for years — create an enforceable standard to ensure that employers are taking these risks seriously and creating safe workplaces that their employees deserve.”
OSHA does not currently have a specific standard for workplace violence prevention, but the agency has utilized the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s general duty clause to cite health care employers for not protecting their employees from violent workplace incidents and continues to do so under the Trump administration, according to workplace safety experts.